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George Clarke: The UK is on the verge of a poverty pandemic

The TV personality is backing a campaign by The Big Issue.

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George Clarke (David Parry/PA)

George Clarke (David Parry/PA)

George Clarke (David Parry/PA)

Celebrity architect George Clarke has claimed the UK is on the verge of a “poverty pandemic”.

Clarke, who presents Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces, said Covid-19 had only intensified the country’s affordability and homelessness crises.

The TV personality and campaigner, 46, told The Big Issue: “I’m absolutely petrified – and I don’t use that word lightly – about what’s going to happen over the next year or two years.

“We had a big affordability crisis and homelessness crisis even before Covid. And we’re going to get levels of mass unemployment over the next two years …

“How the f*** have we let Britain get into that state?”

Clarke, who is a brand ambassador for the magazine, added: “People are going to die. People are going to die and this is not about the Covid pandemic, we are on the verge of a poverty pandemic. So I’m supporting The Big Issue push.

“What’s amazing about the work The Big Issue is doing with RORA – the Ride Out Recession Alliance – is that it’s pulling together influential and good people to prevent more people going from that position of just getting by to facing unemployment and homelessness.”

Clarke said he was backing RORA in a bid to prevent mass unemployment and homelessness.

Speaking about the issues, he said: “The thought of being homeless brings me to tears, because I’ve seen it first-hand and I’ve seen it for so many years. And I see people who have gone through hell, quite often through absolutely no fault of their own.

“I am now in a very fortunate position in my life and I’ve never been homeless, thank God.

“I am from a working-class family and I know what it’s like to only just have enough money each month to get by if you’re lucky.”

Support The Big Christmas Appeal through a donation or by subscribing to The Big Issue at www.bigissue.com/support.

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